The National University Lady Bulldogs have two goals for the upcoming UAAP Season 81 Women’s Basketball tournament. Besides gunning for their fifth straight crown, one of the best collegiate programs in the country is just nine wins away from tying the record for most consecutive wins in UAAP history.
That is why coach Patrick Aquino and his staff are going all-out in their preparation for their upcoming campaign, as Ever Bilena sent the team to Taipei, Taiwan for a series of tune-ups with the top Taiwanese collegiate and commercial teams.
“Very helpful ito sa amin kasi the teams here are competitive and talagang malalakas,” Aquino, who turned 47 last Wednesday, told Tiebreaker Times.
“Nung first game namin, we took on the Team B of their National Team. We will be able to gain experience as a team with those types of games and sa staff naman, nakikita namin kulang namin dito,” he added.
The Lady Bulldogs arrived in Taiwan last Wednesday and quickly figured in two games on Thursday, beginning the day against Taiwan-B before facing Taiwan Normal University later on.
Friday, they face the North City University. They will follow it up with two games on Saturday against Fo Guang and Taipower before ending their trip against Shixin on Sunday at 10:00am.
Composing the Lady Bulldogs are last season’s core of Jack Animam, Ria Nabalan, Rhena Itesi, Monique del Carmen, Flor Ceno, Jeanne Camelo, Samantha Harada, Mikka Cacho, and Choi Layug. Incoming rookies Kaye Pingol (a transferee from Adamson), Mayu Goto, Melody Cac, Pringle Fabruada, Jeecuel Bartolo, and May-may Canuto complete the squad.
Aquino is joined by assistant coaches Paul Du and Julia Amos and physical therapist Rassel Urag.
The trip would not have been made possible without the help of Team Managers Dioceldo Sy and Silliman Sy of Ever Bilena, Michael Lim, and Mike Tan.